Friday, September 30, 2011


ACT 1: Typhooned in Nueva Ecija, Striked in Manila

SCENE 1 SYNOPSIS: Typhoon Pedring flooded Nueva Ecija, bus services cancelled, so I have to burn lines until I got me somebody willing to risk the submerged roads and find a way to Manila. For 5k.

SCENE 2 SYNOPSIS: Travel agent called to say that PR 102 to Los Angeles is striked out. I crossed fingers and actually prayed that be the case. I went to the Centennial Terminal just the same and waited as replacement crews (scabs?) learned the ropes and finally got me checked in. Two hours delayed. 

ACT 2: Before Sunrise, 27 Dresses, The Lake Tree

SCENE 1 SYNOPSIS: Harrased and exhausted, I got myself a choice seat for $50. Long haul. Before Sunrise is almost all conversation and got me asleep. 27 Dresses is a B-movie I think. Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock in The Lake House are still difficult but I finally got the plot of the magic mail box.
ACT 3: Almost lost in LA, breakfast in Houston, and a seaman arrives in Panama

SCENE 1 SYNOPSIS: Two hours delayed means rushing through immigration and the luggage carousel in LA (with an orange slip of paper), locating Terminal C that was really Terminal 6 (forgot that I now have reading glasses), realizing that departures are on second level not below (should have asked), and losing my tickets in the process (must be when I finally asked).

SCENE 2 SYNOPSIS: Continental got me a premium seat along the emergency exit and loaded my luggage for free. Had what I thought was a Texan breakfast of grits, sausages, bacon, and java coffee in Houston. And shot the canal from above as we approached Panama City.

SCENE 3 SYNOPSIS: "Are you a seaman?" / "No."/ "Do you have papers?" / "Yes."/ "Please wait here." / "Okey." / That's how I got a visa-free entry and a $40 taxi ride to my hotel.

PHOTO CREDIT: The top photo was taken by Bulan at the height of Typhoon Pedring's landfall in Nueva Ecija the day before my scheduled flight to LA. It shows a transformer in front of our house minutes after the province's electric power went out. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Dear Balong,

Kapag sakaling pumasa ka sa CLSU science high ay huwag kang magpapa-elect na escort at ayaw ko talagang namumudmod ng sobre. Bukod pa dito ang magiging harassment sa amin ng Nanay mo na dulot ng extra hours mo sa practice kasabay sa pagkukumahog sa review para hindi ka makick-out, pagtatalo sa isusuot mong damit kung barong tagalog o amerikana o tuxedo, paglalagari sa mga makakasabay na projects ko sa finale night ninyo, at pangungulit ng Nanay mo na dalhin ko ang camera although alam mo namang hindi ko pinangarap maging event photographer.

Class president ang takbuhan mo anak. Kapag natalo ka ay ete-train na lang kitang maging fiscalizer. Minority floor leader kung baga. At sabihin mo sa magiging adviser mo na susuporta tayo sa anumang proyekto ng iskuwelahan ninyo pero huwag ka nang gawing escort.

Tandaan mo ang habilin kong ito. Masdang mabuti ang mga larawan ng kuya mo at last na talaga 'yang ganyang project sa pamilya natin. Bahala kayo kapag later ay gusto ninyong pasalihin mga magiging anak ninyo pero huwag na huwag niyo akong bibigyan ng mga sobreng ibebenta.


Saturday, September 24, 2011


THOSE WHO CAME: Boyaks Kalinga Tatang Mad-Max Andreng Doc-Tony Minyong Puloy Labo Manok Dofong Roma Joey Pokwang Bunso Trina Ponga Liza-ni-Lolong Jenny Doro

THOSE WHO WERE THERE IN SPIRIT: Mama-Butch Doods Mikoy Dondon Paeng


In behalf of Kata, thank you very much! These are the ties that bind us. 

Friday, September 23, 2011


DigiBak = Digital Activism.

'Yan ang intindi ko sa 2 araw na kurso tungkol sa makabuluhang paggamit ng blog, email, facebook, at twitter.

Epektib ito.

CASE 1: Ang karanasan ng mga Zapatista sa Chiapas, Mexico noong 1994 na masasabing internet-based.

CASE 2: Ang mahalagang papel na ginagampanan ng social media sa patuloy pa ring naglalagablab na Arab Spring.

So move over Tibaks! Here comes the DigiBaks!

Maliban sa makabuluhang pagpe-facebook ay nabigyan din ako ng pagkakataon na madalaw muli ang simbahan ng Antipolo. Salamat sa Oxfam-GB at Dakila. Ang masasabi ko lamang sa mga paring naglagay ng pagkalakilaking anti-RH bill streamer sa harap ng simbahan ay "Don't preach what you don't practice". Salamat din sa MMLDC na muling nagpaalala sa akin sa linamnam ng maayos na pansit palabok.

Friday, September 16, 2011


This bowl of Beef Sotanghon is for Mom who now celebrate birthdays up there with them angel friends of hers. She should have turned 73 today while my sister Sutsi who shares her birthday is now 34. And my brother Serwet too who reached 40 three days earlier.

To them all I offer my affection and the fond memories of the many happy birthdays we had and celebrated with Dad's bihon guisado.

FOOTNOTE: My first beef sotanghon was served at a Chinese restaurant called Fu Chi along Banawe Avenue in Quezon City. Except for the silky texture of the cellophane noodles (aka Chinese vermicelli) and the cilantro garnish, it tastes just like the usual mami. A bowl of fried tofu with egg adobo and a pot of tea are excellent compliments. 

Thursday, September 01, 2011


... a church in Bonn...

Its almost closing time and so we (i.e. me, Riza, Bernabe, Albert Magalang) were turned away from entering Schloss Drachenburg in Bonn's tourist area of Konigswinter. That saved us 9 Euros each I said, a futile attempt at getting the best of a downer, as we walked down the steep slope of the Drachenfel Mountain. I snapped this photo midway to the village where, as we were chewing on an early dinner of Turkish fast food cuisine, we bumped into the rest of the Philippine delegation to the UN climate change talks in Bonn. Today as I was preparing this post, Wikipedia tragically informed  me that I in fact missed the more famous church of St. Remigius and the nearby ruins of the Abbey of Heisterbach. And I will never get to know the church whose spire is shown in the photo.

... and a mosque in Hyderabad.

We were treated to a city tour on our last day in Hyderabad. Our overeager guide said he will be showing us the old Hyderabad, the between-old-and-new Hyderabad, and the new Hyderabad. This photo was in the old city as our leaking bus made its way to a museum somewhere beyond the maze of Indian traffic sights and sounds. I just clicked and behold, here is the only mosque I was able to shoot in an Indian city with the most Muslim population. I will never get to know the mosque's story and if it ever has a name, like I'm not really sure if I will be going back to India. But may I just mention St. Joseph's Cathedral and the many mosques and temples I missed which, just as in Konigswinter, I learned only today from Wikipedia.